Parade in Takayama

Takayama Matsuri

One of Japan's great festivals, the Takayama Matsuri is in two parts. On 14 and 15 April is the Sannō Matsuri, when a dozen decorated yatai (floats) are paraded through the town. Hachiman Matsuri, on 9 and 10 Octobe…
Parade in Hida-Furukawa

Furukawa Matsuri

Furukawa Matsuri – informally known as Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival) – takes place every 19 and 20 April with parades of yatai (festival floats). The highlight is an event known as Okoshi Daiko in which, on the ni…
Cultural in Nozawa Onsen

Dōsojin Matsuri

Each year on 15 January crowds gather for the famous Dōsojin Matsuri, a kind of cleansing ritual for men aged 25 and 42, the so-called 'unlucky ages' in Japan. The 42-year-olds' task is to defend a purpose-built two…
Parade in Kanazawa

Hyakumangoku Matsuri

In early June Kanazawa's main annual festival commemorates the first time the region's rice production hit one million koku (around 150,000 tonnes). There's a parade of townsfolk in 16th-century costumes, takigi nō …
Parade in Matsumoto

Asama Onsen Taimatsu Matsuri

Around the start of October, Asama Onsen celebrates the spectacular and slightly manic fire festival, wherein groups of men, women and children, shouting 'wa-sshoi!', like a mantra, parade burning bales of hay throu…
Cultural in Nagoya

World Cosplay Summit

If you're in Nagoya in July/August, be sure to see if your stay coincides with some of the events of this truly unique visual feast, when cosplayers (costume players) and anime (Japanese animation) fans from around …
Parade in Hida-Furukawa

Kitsunebi Matsuri

During the 'Fox Fire Festival' on the fourth Saturday in September, locals dress up as foxes, parade through the town by lantern light and enact a wedding at a local shrine, Okura Inari-jinja. The ceremony, deemed t…
Parade in Matsumoto

Matsumoto Bonbon

Matsumoto's biggest event takes place on the first Saturday in August, when over 25,000 people of all ages perform the 'bonbon' dance through the streets, well into the hot summer's night. Be prepared to be drawn in…
Parade in Nagoya

Nagoya Matsuri

Nagoya's big sha-bang takes place mid-October in Hisaya-ōdōri-kōen. Celebrating Nagoya's 'three heroes', the lively procession includes costumes, karakuri ningyō (marionette) floats, folk dancing and decorated cars.
Cultural in Inuyama

Inuyama Matsuri

Held annually since 1635, the highlight of this colourful festival is a parade of 13 floats strewn with lanterns.